GLASS WOUND — How To Tackle?
Broken glass is the most dangerous and frequent reason behind causing clean-cut incised wounds which can bleed profusely.
Assessment of the wound
Expect to find the following signs if there is a glass wound:
- There could be several wounds. Treat the most severe ones first.
- Bright red-coloured blood can be arterial bleeding from the wrist if the person has placed a hand through the glass.
- Look for symptoms of shock.
- Shards of the glass on or embedded in a wound.
Warning: Do not remove anything that is embedded in the wound as it could be plugging the wound and preventing additional blood loss.
Steps to be followed
Step 1: Move the Casualty
Take the casualty away from the broken glass. Pick off any shards of the glass.
Step 2: Control Bleeding and Treat for Shock
Apply direct pressure over the sterile dressing or clean pad and raise the injured area to control the bleeding. Help the casualty to lie down and raise the limb above the level of the heart.
Step 3: If the glass is embedded
Do not remove the glass from the wound. Press either side of the piece of glass, pushing the edges of the wound together.
Step 4: Protect the wound
Drape a piece of gauze loosely over the glass. Place the padding on either side of the piece of glass. Roller bandages make excellent padding.
If possible, build up padding until it is higher than the glass.
Step 5: Secure Padding
Use another bandage to secure the padding. If you can build the padding up high enough, bandage over the top of the object as shown in the diagram. If not, bandage securely on either side of the object.
Step 6: Take to Hospital
Call for emergency help or take the casualty to the hospital yourself for further treatment.
- Wear non-latex disposable gloves to protect yourself as well as the casualty.
- Do not press down any embedded object as it will only worsen the wound.
- Sweep up any shards of glass over the casualty to prevent further injury.
- Dispose of the glass safely, wrap it in layers of newspaper, and tape it up.
Glass wounds are quite different to handle than other wounds but following these steps come in very handy to ensure that the loss is reduced to the minimum and at the earliest.
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